So I was hanging out with a U.S. Senator today and... OK, we weren't "hanging out" exactly, but I was in the room with him. U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, one of Oregon's two reps in Washington, stopped by the paper today while on a tour of Oregon's hinterlands, and I sat in with the rest of our 'editorial board' (includes me and other editors and the publisher) for an hour or so. We talked about Iraq, forestry, gay marriage, et cetera. For a more moderate Republican (and the chair of Bush's Oregon campaign), Smith's a decent fellow, which I imagine you have to be to make it in his line of work. Imposing chin, hair immaculate, and the sensation that whatever you're saying to him is REALLY IMPORTANT. Even though I'm politically opposed to most of his views he has the knack of making you halfway support him when he's talking. Like other politicos I've met, it's their gift.
Anyways, when he started talking about Kerry's socialist agenda and I tuned out a little, I wondered what it is about the word "Senator" before one's name that makes such an impression. You put "congressman" or "mayor" before someone's handle and it sounds OK, true, but "Senator" -- well, that shines up any name. "Senator Glittlespitt" doesn't even half sound bad. So it came to me that even though I don't have perfect hair and my chin is settling into its own remains that I should take the initiative now. No, I'm not running for Congress. But I think I might legally change my first name to "Senator." "Senator Dirga" -- hell, that's got a ring to it. At last, I am respectable.